Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Ever since 'Big Train' I have had a soft spot for Simon Pegg. His movies, along with his best friend Nick Frost have been a little hit and miss, te best by far being 'Shaun of the Dead'. It was with some trepidation that I went to this film, as we all know, the Sci Fi genre is a cruel mistress. Get it right and it's Bladerunner, get it wrong and it's Battlefield Earth. Thankfully, the boys got it right. It's an unashamed homage to the great Alien movies, not a silly rip off, more a big thank you. It's the tale of Graeme and Clive, two absolute English men on their dream holiday. Visiting comic-con, the convention for Sci Fi nuts and then taking a driving tour of all the places across the US of famous sightings or near sightings of alien forms. It's on this road trip that they meet Paul,(voiced by Seth Rogen) a stereotypical looking alien with some very bad habits. The three compadres end up on the run from the Men in Black (most notably Jason Bateman, noone deadpans like Jason Bateman) and take along an Ruth Buggs (Kristen Wiig) as an initially unwilling accomplice. Ruth is an evangelical Christian who is actively against Darwinism, but with help from Paul and Graeme, sees the light. Graeme and Clive have to help Paul get to his destination before the Men in Black especially The Big Guy and Ruth's gun toting Dad get to them all first. Sounds familiar? Well of course it is, but Paul explains the comparisons to ET in a neat little cameo scene. I really like this film. It's great fun. Seth Rogen is absolutely perfect as the voice of Paul. I have said before that I'm not very keen on him, but when you don't see his face, the smugness melts away. Irritatingly as with most Rogen films, marijuana is king, but apart from that his Paul is very endearing, as are his habits. It's also refreshing that Paul doesn't actually get along with both of his saviours initially, which adds a greater depth to the story. The relationship between Graeme and Clive is great too. They are obviously very close in real life, and this chemistry comes through in the movie. I won't spoil it for you, but there are some truly funny cameos. It's quite adult humour, but pertinant and funny stuff. The ending is surprisingly emotional, I really teared up and it pulled my heartstrings far more than ET. Yes, I'm sorry, but I can't stand that movie. It's so sugarcoated and schmaltzy, every damned scene desperately tries to eke out an emotional reaction. Sorry Sir Spielberg. I did love the character, just not the film. PAUL: Gross encounters of the fun kind. 7/10.